More Measles Nonsense From Natural News

In their eagerness to disprove the necessity of vaccination as an aid to public health, the writers of Natural News seem to have gone from misunderstanding and misinterpreting statistics to plain old making stuff up.

D. Holt has this to say:

Despite the introduction of the vaccine in 1968, the official policy in the UK until 1988 was that if a member of the household had measles, then they should play with and infect as many people as possible to spread immunity. This practice was carried out without any increase in death rates.

Holt provides no evidence to back up this assertion and indeed none shows up by googling. Hardly surprising as it is not actually true. Speaking as someone who caught measles in the 1963 epidemic, I can assure you that the policy appeared to be to keep the sufferer isolated. Not that it needed enforcing. Contrary to the antivaxxer claim that measles is a trivial illness, let me assure you that it is quite serious – all over body rash and eyes so sensitive to light that you need to stay in a darkened room. I was lucky, my eyesight was not permanently damaged; my cousin was not so fortunate.

I think it worth pointing out that the only way infecting others spreads immunity is that those who recover from the illness now have the antibodies so are now immune. So the antivaxxers reckon the way to prevent you catching a disease is to make you catch the disease. Hmmm. I think I see a flaw there.

Since the subject was raised I wondered what the infection rates and death rates for measles actually were. I found this which covers England and Wales rather than the whole of the UK but since that is still 90% of the UK population I thought it would be reasonably informative.

Decade Cases Deaths

1940-48………… 3,040,751………. 5380
1949-58………… 4,200,352………. 1618
1959-68………… 4,097,782………. 865
1969-78………… 1,488,892………. 261
1989-98………… 106,210………….18
1999-2008………. 29,694……………8

Interesting points to note:

1. Although the number of cases rise in the decade after 1948, and remain roughly the same for the one following, the number of deaths fell by 70% and then a further 47% of the reduced number.

In 1948 the National Health Service and other aspects of the Welfare State were brought into being – those were the days when Governments, even Tory ones, considered that they hads obligations to the people.

2. In the period cited by Holt, there was a huge decline in the number of cases and the number of deaths. The single vaccine, though not perfect, clearly had an effect.

3. After 1988, cases and deaths both fell by a further 87%. What happenned in 1988? Oh yes, the MMR vaccine was introduced.

4. Despite the work of the infamous Andrew Wakefield and his cheerleaders in the Daily Mail and elsewhere, cases and deaths continued to decline, though the year on year figures suggest the number of cases are starting to rise.

It would appear that the way to eradicate measles is by creating a society where medical treatment is free at the point of need, where people are not being financially squeezed dry and we have vaccination – preferably with MMR. We still have MMR and the tabloid press are now pretending they were never against it but the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition is in the process of destroying what is left of the welfare state and the National Health Service. I suspect that this will lead to a rise in the incidence of measles and other infectious diseases, which the antivaxxers will no doubt sieze on as “proof” that vaccines do not work.

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6 Responses to “More Measles Nonsense From Natural News”

  1. Cybertiger Says:

    More silly ‘antivaxxer’ cobblers from JHQ.

    PS. I don’t think measles left you unscathed; there is clearly a deficit in cerebration, particularly in the ethical and moral functional dimensions.

    PPS. I’m a 1963 measles survivor too. How strange!

    • jaycueaitch Says:

      If you dispute what I say, why not say where you think I’m wrong and why, rather than spew out random insults?

  2. Cybertiger Says:

    Clue: the term ‘antivaxxer’ will always attract the targeted insult, whether other silly nonsense is deployed or not.

  3. dingo199 Says:

    When i first looked at the Natural News article, I misread the autorship as being Dr Holt, rather than D Holt.
    I looked at his “credentials” and began to wonder if he was a genuine voice in the medical field: “D Holt is currently involved in research in the UK” but then the sentence continued: “…into the mechanisms involved in healing due to meditation, hypnosis and other ”spiritual” healers and techniques.”

    PS, If you wish to see what people think about the measles outbreak in Mersey, youi could do worse than see here:

  4. A Fifth Year of Steam « Letting Off Steam Says:

    [...] and vegetarianism was debunked as was an article on electrosensitivity in the Evening Standard, antivax nonsense from Natural News, homeopaths conflating homeopathy and herbalism and the dead tree version of [...]

  5. dave angel Says:

    Maybe you should check out what the rates were before 1940 as provided by the office for national statistics. All those promoting vaccination seem to forget what happened before 1940 and it is fairly obvious to see why when you actually look…

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